Is it possible to pass a climate bill this year? After recounting the recent history of climate legislation — 38 votes in 2005, 54 votes in 2008 — John Kerry says yes:
I absolutely believe we’re closer than ever to getting across the finish line — but make no mistake, it remains difficult, even with President Obama in the White House, and even with the House of Representatives having passed their bill by the slimmest of margins last summer. But we’re going full steam ahead because, in my judgment, this may be the last and certainly the best chance for the Senate to act, especially with the fact that I think the next Senate — given a 2012 presidential campaign added to the dynamic and a lot of new Senators is going to be less likely than this one to find a path to the 60 votes needed for passage. So we’ve got to get it done this year.
....And here’s what I can tell you, a comprehensive climate bill written purely for you and me — true believers — can’t pass the Senate no matter how hard or passionate I fight on it. No, it’s got to be an effort that makes my colleagues — and that has to include Republicans so we can get to 60 — comfortable about the jobs we’re going to create and the protection for consumers and the national security benefits — and it has to address those pieces on their terms. The good news — I think we got that balance right.
Lots more detail at the link, worth reading if you want to get down in the weeds on this stuff. I hope Kerry is right about this. We should know for sure within a couple of months.
UPDATE: ClimateProgress has a nice chart comparing the Senate and House climate bills here.